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Support Snopes.com!

$845,564 of $2.0M goal

Raised by 28,885 people in 15 months
Dear Readers,

Last July we informed you all about our difficulties with a vendor (Proper Media) who had been contracted to provide certain services for Snopes.com but would not acknowledge the lawful termination of that contract by us. The vendor would not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control and continued to insert their own advertisements on the site, withholding from us all the advertising revenue so generated.

Those actions put us in a perilous situation: We were deprived of operating funds for months on end, and we had to spend what reserves we had on legal fees in order to regain control of our site and reclaim the revenues that were withheld from us. We launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to fund our legal efforts, and more than 25,000 of you graciously contributed to that campaign and enabled us to continue our work during a difficult time.

We'd now like to provide you with an update on what your donations have enabled us to accomplish on the legal front:

On 12 July 2017, the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, granted our request for a Temporary Restraining Order in favor of Bardav, Inc. (Snopes.com's parent corporation) and against Proper Media. As a result, Proper Media released $100,000 in revenue procured from the placement of advertisement on the Snopes.com website that they had been withholding. The court’s order provided much-needed funds that allowed Snopes.com to continue operating without having to lay off any staff.

On 22 August 2017, the Superior Court granted our request for a Preliminary Injunction against Proper Media and its principals. The injunction required Proper Media to transfer hosting of the Snopes.com web site back to our control and to cease withholding from us revenues procured from the placement of advertisements on the Snopes.com website. On the same day that our motion for preliminary injunction was granted, the court denied Proper Media’s request for an order that would have forced Bardav to continue a business relationship with Proper Media, and denied Proper Media's request to remove David Mikkelson from Bardav's board of directors.

On 18 October 2017, we successfully migrated Snopes.com to a new hosting provider and regained control of our advertising revenue stream.

On 15 February 2018, the Superior Court ruled that Proper Media is not a Bardav shareholder, and upheld the appointment of Brad Westbrook to Bardav's board of directors.

On 22 February 2018, the Superior Court entered a judgment in favor of David Mikkelson dismissing all causes of action brought against him by Proper Media.

Despite these rulings in our favor, we still face significant challenges. As our efforts continue, so does our need for funding to sustain our ongoing operations, cover our legal fees, and help us expand to stem the rising tide of misinformation. In response to our GoFundMe campaign, many of you asked how you might support us on an ongoing basis. This campaign is the best way to do that right now.

Our need for support has not abated (particularly as our legal fees have exhausted all previously raised funds), so we are raising the cap on this campaign and keeping it active as our case proceeds through the legal system. If you are able to continue helping us with our important work, thank you, and we will continue to provide periodic updates.

Sincerely yours,

Team Snopes

----------

Dear Readers,

We cannot express the extent to which we are gratified and humbled at how so many of you graciously contributed to our campaign and enabled us to continue our work during this difficult time. We received donations not only from all 50 states, but from 69 different countries around the world as well.  We are truly amazed that our mission and our story have achieved such a wide audience, and that they have brought together so many people.

The GoFundMe team is in the process of releasing the donations directly to the company, where our controller will ensure the funds are allocated appropriately and our commitment to our donors is maintained. 

To demonstrate our everlasting gratitude to all of you, our team has put together a short video to thank you for your support and attest to the importance of what you have helped us accomplish.

Sincerely yours,

Team Snopes

----------

The groundswell of support from all corners of the internet in response to our #SaveSnopes campaign has prompted some reasonable questions about our plans for the money we’ve received as well as the legal dispute precipitating our plea, so we thought we would do what we do best and offer up some information about it.

Read the FAQ here. 

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SNOPES.COM COMMUNITY: WE NEED YOUR HELP

Snopes.com in Danger of Shuttering

Dear Readers,

Snopes.com, which began as a small one-person effort in 1994 and has since become one of the Internet’s oldest and most popular fact-checking sites, is in danger of closing its doors. So, for the first time in our history, we are turning to you, our readership, for help.

Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we've had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income.

We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.

Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.

As misinformation has increasingly threatened democracies around the world (including our own), Snopes.com has stood in the forefront of fighting for truth and dispelling misinformation online. It is vital that these efforts continue, so we are asking the Snopes.com community to donate what they can. (Our suggested donation is $10, but if you can give more please consider doing so — every little bit helps.)

We need our community now more than ever, as it is only through your support that Snopes.com can remain the community and resource we all know and love.

Sincerely yours,

Team Snopes.


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Please note that any amounts sent to Snopes.com through gofundme.com or otherwise are purely a donation, and this is not an offer to purchase securities or any other interest in Snopes.com (or its parent company). All donations are non-refundable, and you will own no equity, debt, or other interest in Snopes.com (or its parent company) as a result of your donation. Since Snopes.com (and its parent company) is not a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, donations are not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution but will be allocated in their entirety to operating expenses, legal fees, and the continuation of our overall mission to fight misinformation.
+ Read More
Dear Readers,

Last July we informed you all about our difficulties with a vendor (Proper Media) who had been contracted to provide certain services for Snopes.com but would not acknowledge the lawful termination of that contract by us. The vendor would not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control and continued to insert their own advertisements on the site, withholding from us all the advertising revenue so generated.

Those actions put us in a perilous situation: We were deprived of operating funds for months on end, and we had to spend what reserves we had on legal fees in order to regain control of our site and reclaim the revenues that were withheld from us. We launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to fund our legal efforts, and more than 25,000 of you graciously contributed to that campaign and enabled us to continue our work during a difficult time.

We'd now like to provide you with an update about what your donations have enabled us to accomplish on the legal front:

-On 12 July 2017, the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, granted our request for a Temporary Restraining Order in favor of Bardav, Inc. (Snopes.com's parent corporation) and against Proper Media. As a result, Proper Media released $100,000 in revenue procured from the placement of advertisement on the Snopes.com website that they had been withholding. The court’s order provided much-needed funds that allowed Snopes.com to continue operating without having to lay off any staff.

-On 22 August 2017, the Superior Court granted our request for a Preliminary Injunction against Proper Media and its principals. The injunction required Proper Media to transfer hosting of the Snopes.com web site back to our control and to cease withholding from us revenues procured from the placement of advertisements on the Snopes.com website. On the same day that our motion for preliminary injunction was granted, the court denied Proper Media’s request for an order that would have forced Bardav to continue a business relationship with Proper Media, and denied Proper Media's request to remove David Mikkelson from Bardav's board of directors.

-On 18 October 2017, we successfully migrated Snopes.com to a new hosting provider and regained control of our advertising revenue stream.

-On 15 February 2018, the Superior Court ruled that Proper Media is not a Bardav shareholder, and upheld the appointment of Brad Westbrook to Bardav's board of directors.

-On 22 February 2018, the Superior Court entered a judgment in favor of David Mikkelson dismissing all causes of action brought against him by Proper Media.

Despite these rulings in our favor, we still face significant challenges. As our efforts continue, so does our need for funding to sustain our ongoing operations, cover our legal fees, and help us expand to stem the rising tide of misinformation. In response to our GoFundMe campaign, many of you asked how you might support us on an ongoing basis. This campaign is the best way to do that right now.

Our need for support has not abated (particularly as our legal fees have exhausted all previously raised funds), so we are raising the cap on this campaign and keeping it active as our case proceeds through the legal system. If you are able to continue helping us with our important work, thank you, and we will continue to provide periodic updates.

Sincerely yours,

Team Snopes
+ Read More
A thank-you message from the Snopes.com team for your support of our #SaveSnopes campaign: https://www.savesnopes.com/thank-you
+ Read More
We cannot express how thankful we are for everyone's continued support, which took us far beyond our initial goal. We went into the weekend knowing beyond a doubt how much the community values our work and wants to continue to see us thrive.

As promised, we updated our FAQ to include some more answers to the most asked questions and to address the most pervasive pieces of misinformation surrounding our campaign.

Our latest updates include the following answers:

- You claim your site is essentially being “held hostage.” What does that mean? Can’t you just {insert seemingly plausible technical solution}?
- How are you writing new content and promoting the campaign on the web site if you claim you don’t have access?
- Did David Mikkelson “take a lavish vacation in France while the company was tanking”?
- Did Bardav really pay for David Mikkelson’s honeymoon?

Check out the #SaveSnopes FAQ here: https://www.savesnopes.com/faq
+ Read More
The groundswell of support from all corners of the internet in response to our #SaveSnopes campaign has prompted some reasonable questions about our plans for the money we’ve received as well as the legal dispute precipitating our plea, so we thought we would do what we do best and offer up some information about it.

Read our #SaveSnopes FAQ:
https://www.savesnopes.com/faq

We will provide even more answers in the coming days.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$845,564 of $2.0M goal

Raised by 28,885 people in 15 months
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